According to latest figures available, Queensland has an installed capacity of 13,520 MW of electricity from a mix of conventional sources including a small percentage of bagasse based power plants and hydroelectric plants. Although the nation has been witnessing strident progress in the renewable energy sector with solar power systems leading the pack, the total contribution from the sector to the national demand for electrical energy remains at about 6%. However, when it comes to the small-scale solar power installations, Queensland has made impressive progress with over 500,000 systems installed taking it beyond the 1 million systems targeted by the Palaaszczuk Government, by the year 2020.
Across Australia, small-scale systems of renewable energy saw 6,316 installations in February with 29,928 kW as the aggregate generation capacity. A third of these installations were in Queensland both in terms of capacity as well as numbers. Nationally, the installations were higher in February, as compared to the January numbers.
Battery storage installations rising
Commercial solar installations in the 10-100kW range also jumped to 196 in February 144 of these installations were shared between NSW, QSD and Victoria with 48 installations each. One of the reasons for these escalations is the faster than average installations time of fewer than 3 weeks by some leading solar panel companies. One such company is Euro Solar, you can check the Euro Solar website for their unmatched technical expertise. The installations seen in February are also expected to continue rising particularly in the wake of the one-year time frame allowed for the creation of SST certificates. These certificates carry a value and will the basis for claiming incentives that help in reducing the cost of acquiring and installing the systems. As for storage of energy, 49 solar power systems had concurrently installation storage during the last month taking the total storage facility to 2,771. However, if retrofits were also considered, this number can go up significantly. Notably, homeowners who have already installed a solar power system without batteries for storage are also increasingly opting for storage batteries to optimise their returns from the investment and enhance the energy independence.
Mission to aid Queensland to lead clean energy initiative
Sustainable Queensland Forum has also launched a mission to make Queensland a leader in the area of developing clean energy.
The forum is seeking global investments into the renewable energy sector which now stands at $270 billion, up by 17% compared to last year. Professor Ian Lowe, the forum patron opines that Queensland can lead from the front in the transition from fossil fuels because of its abundant wind and solar resources.
Long way to go
However, in spite of recording the highest uptake of household solar with some half a million households using solar power, Queensland is behind every other state with the exception of WA with regard to net renewable generation. The government represented by the energy minister has responded positively to the forum’s initiative.
Professor Lowe adds further that Queensland has the ability to forge ahead from its current reliance on coal based power to pave way for transition to clean energy and assume a major role in this growing sector. Queensland, for long, been called the “Sunshine State” and he adds that the time has arrived to earn the title.